Biden Loan Cancellation Is an Important First Step

Education News 08.24.22

Contact: Mattie Goldman, [email protected]

WASHINGTON – Maya Wiley, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement after the Biden administration announced the cancellation of $10,000 of student loan debt for certain borrowers: 

“If education is the path to the American dream of prosperity, student debt is the nightmare that blocks that path. For too many — especially borrowers of color and Black women — student debt makes it hard to get ahead and make ends meet. It can also make it more difficult to get a home mortgage or loans to start a business, both of which reduce wealth-building opportunities and contributions to the economy. That’s why we welcome the Biden administration’s announcement to partially cancel student loan debt.

“However, the bureaucratic hurdle of income verification will shut out the most marginalized borrowers and blunt the greatest benefits of this policy. This needs to be easy, not hard. In order to benefit the students of color who are most impacted, the administration must raise the canceled amount to maximize relief, create an automatic process that will be easy for students to navigate, and take further action to reform our student loan system to protect former, current, and future students from the harms of our debt-financed system of higher education. This is an important first step, but borrowers should not have to wait any longer for a reprieve.”

Last year, The Leadership Conference along with 35 civil rights and education organizations, released “Civil Rights Principles for Student Loan Debt Cancellation,” urging the Biden-Harris administration to automatically cancel $50,000 of student loan debt per borrower.

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 230 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit